Google Reader is Dead. Long Live Google Reader

June 16, 2013

I was horrified to a few months ago that Google Reader was to be killed by Google on 1 July. Horrified. Google Reader was in the centre of my reading world, for many years.

After some looking around I found Feedly ( and I’ve never looked back. It’s terrific. Today they told me via a message that all my feeds from Google are now in Feedly and I’m no longer dependant on Google Reader.

I like Feedly better than Google Reader. Good move.

Quantitative Risk Assessment

June 13, 2013

Yesterday I attended the Palisade Software Risk Conference in London. While one or two of the presentations were a miss, there were some terrific presentations and conversations with other attendees which were enlightening and inspiring. It had been a while since I used @Risk software in earnest so I thought it was about time to kick the tires again.

I’m organising a golf outing for later this summer. We are certain of the costs (unit and overheads), but are uncertain about how many people will attend. I am assuming 21, but it could be as much as 28 (unlikely) or something less than 21. I’ve assumed here 12 as the minimum.

I know how much the golf rounds cost, how much food costs, the budget for the prizes, etc.

We plan to charge £100, which is £15 more than we normally charge. More than that is considered beyond the market.

How does this look if we model it in @Risk? See the following summary of the computation of surplus income:

The spreadsheet:


The Output (surplus) shown as a probability distribution:


Nice. It tells me we should consider charging more for the event as the current projections show we are unlikely to cover our costs.

Dropbox vs. SugarSync

December 28, 2011

I have the need to post files on internet-based sites for use on collaboration with various other people for various reasons. I’ve been using Dropbox and SugarSync; the latter because it appears now to be ubiquitous and the latter because it was recommended by a person who provides reliable recommendations. Prior to getting started I read numerous reviews.

My bottom line is that SugarSync is the preferred tool. I come to this conclusion due to two features in SugarSync which are not in Dropbox (far as I can tell):

1. With SugarSync, I can post files for others to use in READ-ONLY mode. With Dropbox all files are changeable by anyone with access to the folder. Further, I’m informed but have not confirmed this, DropBox users can “re-share” with others without my permission. That opens up the possibility that pretty much anyone can edit the files without me knowing. This is disconcerting and a big reason to be careful of using DropBox’s sharing features.

2. With SugarSync, I can share specific folders in the PC’s file system without having to move them into the DropBox file folder (or subfolders). Yes, with the Mac version of DropBox it is possible to setup a symbolic link in the DropBox folder pointing to a folder in another location, so this point No. 2 is probably moot.

On thing that Dropbox does do is provide software for using on a Linux machine. SugarSync does not. That would be useful in doing more automation.